You are currently viewing Fake photos, videos, news galore: What’s going on in Europe’s editorial offices?

by Anton Gentzen 

“The first casualty of any war is truth,” US Senator Hiram Johnson reportedly said shortly after the outbreak of World War I in 1914. A hundred years later, the truth was shot on the Kiev Maidan, and to this day it is not clear who all the shooters were.

In the west people like to warn against “Russian troll factories”. Everyone has heard terms and names like Olgino, Prigoshin or “Putin’s cook” before. Regardless of the question of whether and to what extent Russia uses such methods in information warfare, these terms are manslaughter arguments to delegitimize every contribution to the discussion, every factual report and every opinion of a Russian or from Russia – as far as they do not support the Western narrative – and without reject any test.

Audiatur et altera pars (listen to the other side too)? The truth is born in strife? All of that no longer seems to apply, and most recently, Europe has even subjected itself to a propaganda monopoly by banning Russian foreign media and thus indirectly admitting that it can no longer win the battle for the heads of Europeans with the power of better arguments or more convincing evidence. Does the truth need prohibitions in order to assert itself? Or are bans and taboos rather instruments of lies that are about to be exposed?

While the Russian narrative has always been scrutinized by a throng of “fact-checkers” and counter-actors, and this alone has forced Russian media to be extra careful in reporting the facts and extra clean in their arguments, the thinking and emotions of Europeans since 2014 and Since February 24 this year, it has been determined particularly intensively by the products of completely different factories, which hardly anyone feels closely about and whose existence the average European is not even aware of – the Ukrainian troll and fake factories. The extent to which they are supervised and dominated by curators and technologists from NATO countries remains a matter of speculation for the time being.

There are several institutions dealing with psychological and informational warfare in Ukraine. On the one hand, there is the Army’s affiliated Center for Special Informational and Psychological Operations. Yes, information and emotionalizing images, films, and texts have long been a weapon of their own, and the Ukrainian info warriors have learned their craft from the world’s leading masters of the trade.

At the same time, there is a network of professional (and of course well paid) info warriors called SafeUA with – according to their own statements – 4,700 employees.

The problem: The Ukrainian info-warriors feed the European media, some directly, others indirectly, thereby influencing the perception and thinking of an entire continent.

Fakes can be realistic: 

The 15-minute documentary presented below provides a first look behind the scenes. It is valuable above all because it shows how easy it is to see through most of the fakes and psychological war projectiles produced there. A lot of things would be cleared up by researching the Google image search, others would be omitted if one had taken the Russian reporting a little more seriously and had seen the images in a completely different context weeks or months ago: many of the Ukrainian fake suppliers deliver poorly made botch at cost price .

The current prime example, which can also be seen in the documentary, is the image of a father tearfully saying goodbye to his daughter. The daughter is evacuated from the danger zone, the father remains to defend his country, gun in hand. So far so true. But while this photo was presented to the European media consumer in numerous German, British and French newspapers as an illustration of a Ukrainian family tragedy, it was actually taken weeks before the Russian intervention: they were children and women of the Donbass, in this case from the town of Gorlovka, whose evacuation was filmed. And the girl’s father will go to war on the side of the “separatists” against the Ukrainian threat.

The Western media have never reported on the bloody suffering of Donbass, which has lasted for eight years. This half of reality, without which the other half is only half the truth (and therefore worse than the lie), was deliberately and stubbornly withheld from the rest of Europe. Then misusing the images of this suffering to illustrate the opposite, different narrative, isn’t that inhuman, isn’t it cynical? Of the dozens of newspapers that had unchecked the picture supplied from the Ukraine, only the French one apologized Le Monde.

The documentary also shows other examples of fakes from Ukrainian production and maybe some will get an aha effect – hopefully. Above all, however, all Europeans should ask themselves what is going on with their newspapers and TV stations, which are selling their readers and viewers such obvious fakes as reality. Is it so bad for the intellect in the editorial offices? Or are they aware of that?

more on the subject – Manipulative media: The invisible crime against Donetsk


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